After completing the Midwest portion of the tour, the series tackles its West Coast swing, which include eight races in a 16-day period, beginning with two races at the Skagit Speedway before heading to Grays Harbor.
“We’ve already had an incredible summer, but this will be without question the highlight of the season here,” Grays Harbor Raceway general manager Steve Beitler said. “This is a chance for fans to come out and watch the very best in sprint car racing. It’s a nice treat for our fans and our local drivers who get to race in front one of the biggest crowds we’ll have year during the year. It really is the perfect way to close out the summer.”
Beitler expects the top drivers in the series to compete.
Donny Schatz leads all drivers in the 2017 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series Championship Driver standings with 8,126 total points coming from 17 wins and 46 top 5 finishes. Brad Sweet sits in second place with 8,032 points, while David Gravel clocks in at third (7,960 points) after winning 13 races, the second highest total of any driver.
Daryn Pittman (7,624) and Shane Stewart (7,590) currently round out the top 5 in the standings.
Schatz is in his 21st season on the World of Outlaws tour, the longest tenured driver on the tour today. He has more than 240 career wins and eight series championships with the most recent occurring in 2016. He won 25 races last year, including the Bad Boy Off Road World Finals in the season finale.
Schatz has plenty of history on the Grays Harbor track. He won the event in 2015, claiming his 200th career World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory in the process. He also won the race in 2013 and 2014, the latter of which made him the first driver since Steve Kinser in 2003 to post consecutive 20-win seasons on the series with the victory.
Schatz will look to win at Grays Harbor for a fourth consecutive time as the race was cancelled last year due to inclement weather.
The World of Outlaws will kick off the Labor Day Weekend at the Skagit Speedway on September 1 and 2 with the Outlaw Energy Showdown before drivers make their way south to Elma.
The 2017 World of Outlaws season, which feature approximately 70 races, will conclude with the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, November 2-4.
“The thing about the World of Outlaws series is even the worst driver is incredible,” Beitler said. “When you come out and watch racing sometimes you will have a division that has four or five really good drivers who are significantly better than anyone else. With the World of Outlaws, every one of these drivers are exceptional. If you’re new to the sport, this would be the event to go to. It really is an exciting experience.”
Beitler knows firsthand just how exciting the series can be, having competed full time on the World of Outlaws racing circuit for seven years from 1989 to 1996, with his best finish coming in 1991 when he was seventh nationally in the point standings.
In addition to the World of Outlaws on September 4, Grays Harbor Raceway will also host street stocks with local drivers battling it out. Hoquiam’s Jack Parshall sits atop the series standing with 839 points through August 12. Parshall, who has won four out of the eight races in the series this year, holds a 52-point lead in the standings over Scott Fritts (787 points) and is 53 points ahead of fellow Hoquiam driver Jason Tole (786).
Before the World of Outlaws take over the track, however, the Summer Thunder Sprint Series will be held at the Grays Harbor Raceway on September 3.
The day will also feature races in the Modifieds and Northwest Focus Midgets series.
“We’ve really seen Washington become one of the top areas in the West Coast for racing,” Beitler said. “California is always going to have great racing, but I think when you talk about racing in the Northwest, Washington racing is leading the way.”
Racing begins at 7 p.m. at Grays Harbor Raceway with the grandstands opening at 5:00 p.m. Ticket prices for the World of Outlaws on September 4 are $36 for Adults (18-61), $26 for juniors (7-17), seniors (62+) and active military and $10 for child (6 and under). Premium seats are available for $43.